Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kids Are Cute

When I went grocery shopping this morning, I was close to a mom pushing a cart with her little boy in the seat.  I would guess he was about two or three years old.  As they do in the grocery store, some one made an announcement over the PA.  You know:  "so and so please report to the frozen food aisle" or something like that.

At the end of he announcement the person added a perfunctory "thank you ".   Just as I passed the mom with the little boy, I heard him yell "You're welcome!"

Monday, May 26, 2014

A "Top-Down" Kind of Day

Memorial Day weekend, and the weather is perfect.  A great day to drive through the countryside with the top down. Here we go!

We live in a beautiful place… Boone County, Kentucky.  There are many pretty drives just minutes from our house. When the weather is nice we like to jump in the car, put the top down and drive the rural roads in the area.

See how clear blue the sky is?  Not too hot, not too cold, a real treat after the brutal winter we had.

It's peaceful and quiet out here.  Just us and the sun and a slight breeze.

People paint quilts on barns around here…

At the ends of some roads, there are interesting places.

Here there is music… it's open mike day.  We often hear bluegrass music here.

There are creatures at home here, both big and small.

There were many baby goats, just one week old.

Families, dogs and puppies…

This puppy wanted to eat a shoe…

and almost ate my shoelaces!

Just down the road there is another interesting place.

Rabbit Hash, gathering place for motorbikes and pickup trucks.

It's a colorful place.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Quiet Time

Yes, I have been quiet for a while.  Sometimes there isn't much to write about.  Not much has been happening here since we returned from our trip to Eastern Europe.  At the moment we have no plans for another vacation, but I am hoping for Hawaii before the year is out.

We have been working on lightening our load, giving away or selling things that we no longer need.  It seems to be a full-time job.  There are days when I feel motivated and there are days that I don't seem able to face the task.

I have a high school class reunion coming up in September.  That has brought a whole new dimension to my life.  People I haven't seen for decades are beginning to show up on Facebook and email.  Part of me wants to go and another part of me wants to run from it.  How do you go back to being the person you used to be after so many years?  Many of my high school friends have stayed in the area and have been used to regular contact with each other.  I have been living away from the area for most of the intervening years, and it feels strange.

I think the past/present thing has been dominating my thoughts.  I'm not sure why.  I am uncomfortably aware of the fact that there are fewer years ahead of me than there are behind me, and in some instances I wish I had used those past years differently.  I know the answer to this is to focus on the years ahead to make the most of them.  It doesn't help to be looking back.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

This was my mom and me some sixty-plus years ago.  She will be 90 in August. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Class Reunions… Land Mine or Comfort Zone?

I wrote this yesterday.  I was in a pensive mood.  I wasn't sure if I should post it because I'm not sure it makes any sense and I managed to confuse myself.  But here it is, confusion and all…

Some people would rather forget their high school experience; others enjoyed it and have good memories.  I have mostly good memories of high school.  I had friends and interests and activities I enjoyed.

I have a class reunion coming up in September.  Of course, I am going to go.  I went to one once before, years ago, and it was interesting to see how people I knew had changed.  I thought many of the women had grown up to look exactly like their mothers.  My first unthinking reaction was to call them "Mrs. so & so" rather than their first name. Of course, a lot of people gain weight and some of the men have lost their hair.  Others had blossomed, goslings turned to swans.

Still, it's not easy going so far back into the past.  Everything you have done and everything you have become since high school recedes into the background for a time, and you revert to the you that used to be before you grew up all the way.

I felt something like that when I moved back to the area where I grew up.  I had lived away, in other states for twenty years.  In a way, I had recreated myself.  I left my "old" self behind, not that there was anything wrong with it. As I grew older and gained wisdom I realized some of the things I did when I was younger were foolish.  I was able to push them away because I was in a new place with new people.  Everyone who saw me saw the "new" me, not the "old" me.  Then, when I moved back close to my home town I realized I might see those who knew the "old" me. The shiny new me began to wear off a bit, and some old insecurities started to come back.

Several years ago I decided I wanted to change my name to "Renata" because I read that name means "a new beginning" or "reborn".  (I didn't do it, though.)  It makes me think of Jay Gatsby, who had reinvented himself and given himself a new name.  Would Gatsby have gone back to a high school reunion?  I doubt it.

Afterthought:  I don't relate to Jay Gatsby in any other way.  I feel more like Nick Carraway, the midwesterner who comes to the east and has his eyes opened.  This blows my analogy because I don't think Nick would need to reinvent himself, oh well.  I liked him the best in the story, and I thought Sam Waterston was the most charismatic character of all, playing him.  Nick would have gone to his high school reunion, so maybe I am more like him after all.  (Whew!)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Have I Been Reading?

Right now I am in the middle of this book:

I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  Lisa Robinson has been a "rock and roll" journalist for over forty years and she has many stories to tell.  I remember most of the musical groups she talks about from the sixties and seventies and the background anecdotes are fascinating.

Here she is with Keith Richards:

Before that, I had to go back and re-read part of the "Game of Thrones" books, I had read all five of them before the HBO series began.  A couple of weeks ago they surprised a lot of the people who had read the books by changing part of the story.  I was confused!  I thought maybe I had forgotten part of the story.  So I went back and skipped through the books, looking for where it had changed.

From what I read online, some people get quite excited about this series and there are arguments between those who have read the books and those who haven't read the books.  The non-readers often get angry because the readers will leak out "spoilers" before they happen on the show.  As a reader myself, I was intrigued because they caught me off-guard.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I haven't been inspired to write anything.  I think I need to take another trip!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Golf Widow?

Am I a golf widow because my husband loves to play golf?  It might look that way to some people, but I don't feel that way at all.

My husband always has played golf on weekends, sometimes both Saturday and Sunday.  Now that he has retired (a little sooner than he had planned) he plays several days during the week as well.  We live in a golf course community so it's very convenient for him to run over there and get in a game, or just practice putting or hitting balls.

Do I mind him being out of the house that much?  No!!  It gives me lots of free time to do whatever I want.  I can go shopping without worrying about him fretting at home.  I can eat a whole pint of ice cream if I feel like it.  I can just take a nap without him coming in and asking me where the pliers are.  You get the point… it's healthy for couples to have some individual free time, and his golf allows us to do that.  When he was working he travelled quite a bit so I was used to having that free time anyway.  So now, golf serves the same purpose.

Also, he's happier when he plays golf.  If he has to go too long without golf (like in the winter) he gets cranky and restless.  If he is getting his need for golf satisfied he is a much happier man, thus much easier to live with.

If we had children to deal with and take to games and sleepovers and all of those things, I'm sure I would want him around more to help.  But, as it is, it provides me some breathing space.  Would I play with him?  No!!  I tried that for a while, but he just gets impatient.  He likes to play with someone at least as good as he is for the competition.  I don't have a competitive gene in my body so I just didn't have the drive (pun).  I told him "it's too structured".  Spending that much time doing one thing just doesn't appeal to me.  I can sit all day and read a book but that's different, it occupies my mind.  Golf just didn't do that.  So, I am happy to leave him to it.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

They Call Me Crazy

I have friends who call me a crazy cat lady.  Yes, I have cats and I care for a small feral cat colony.  But I'm not crazy.  I have a soft spot in my heart for these little creatures that are so often misunderstood.

If I am a crazy cat lady, my husband is a crazy cat man… this could be him:

Notice this person has cat treats in the pocket of her robe.  My husband does exactly that!  He comes out in the morning, reaches in his pocket and tosses treats to the cats.  He reminds me of an old man carrying candy in his pockets for the grandkids.  He feeds the feral cats as often as I do, and he talks to them and uses names for them.

Why doesn't anyone call him a "crazy cat gentleman"?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

They Grow Up So Fast…

Remember these four little ferals that showed up at our door in January?

The little gray one just above was adopted first, by a lady who lives alone and wanted a companion.  Reports are that she follows her around and is becoming a lap kitty, which is exactly what she wanted.

The little calico is back outdoors because she didn't take well to being an indoor cat.  She has now joined the little colony in the back yard and is doing well.

The two "boys" in the photo below are still with us, and look how big they have grown:

We haven't found homes for them yet, and we are becoming attached to them.  We have offered them to our neighbor but she also might consider smaller kittens.  I don't know how I feel about keeping them.  They haven't been accepted by our other three cats and that could be a problem.  I'm not sure how to facilitate that.  We currently have three "upstairs" cats and these two "downstairs" cats.  When we bring them together the established three just run and hide and refuse to come out until the two "boys" are back downstairs.

A dilemma…